Mother says son with special needs came home from school with inappropriate words written on neck

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Hope Mercadel says her 13-year-old son, Alijah, who has special needs, came home from Pershing Middle school on Wednesday with inappropriate words written on his neck and forehead. The words were written with a permanent marker.

"I had to take my finger and squint a little bit to see, and I was like, 'Oh my God, not my child, not my child.' I couldn't believe that was on him... I actually had to get it off with rubbing alcohol," Mercadel said. "I had to scrub the word off him."

Alijah said he was focusing on a test and did not realize what had been written on him.

"I felt embarrassed and annoyed," said Alijah.

Mercadel said she spoke with the principal of the school.

"The principal told me, 'Kids do a lot of things. I want to know why they're breaking my chairs for TikTok videos'. And I'm like, 'You can't compare what happened to my son to a TikTok video," she said. "I don't see a Tik Tok video putting words on people, kids as funny."

HISD released the following statement when ABC13 reached out about the incident:

"At HISD, the safety of our students is our top priority. The district is aware of an allegation of misconduct at Pershing Middle School. Due to the pending investigation and student privacy rights, HISD cannot provide additional information at this time,"

Mercadel said she wants the students responsible to face consequences and for parents to speak with their children about this kind of behavior.

"I do want to make it very clear to parents that this is not okay," she said. "If your kids see something, they need to say something...To know he was made fun of and did not know why, that's the part that hurts me as a parent. That made me very upset."

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